tv Book Discussion CSPAN September 27, 2014 9:00am-10:21am EDT
presidential library and museum, pat buchanan describes when richard nixon rebounded from two election losses for president in 1960 and california governor in 1962 to win the presidency in 1968. monday, september 8th, marks the 40th anniversary of president gerald ford's pardon of richard nixon. >> tonight's a great night because we've got a very special treat for you. we have someone who's spent a number of years at richard nixon's side. and remember that when he lost the two elections, the presidential in 1962 and the gubernatorial in 1960 -- pardon me, in '60 and the gubernatorial in 1962 -- people wrote him off. they said richard nixon is gone. he said this is my last press
>> thank you very much, sandy. with that reception on might start looking at 2016. [applause] >> i always relished coming back here. this is the second time i have spoken in the east room of the nixon library and there are some magnificent memorable plays. i was going to mention to all the folks are served with a overs years, even going back four or five decades. i would like to single out one who was written with richard nixon for the campaign of 1960 before i was there. the campaign for governor in 62 before i was there and richard nixon on that plane, trying to save barry goldwater before i was there.
and charlotte buchanan. want to stand up? [applause] >> i would also like to say a couple words about sandy quinn who i got to know, richard nixon up in new york when i first went to work for him, told me when you get to washington there are three people you want to see, sandy quinn -- old friends and loyalists of a long time and sandy has done a magnificent job for the foundation and everything. i really think he deserves more than one round of applause. [applause] >> you know, "the greatest comeback: how richard nixon rose from defeat to create the new majority" is not a definitive history of that period.
what it is is a memoir for of my time in those three years with richard nixon before he became president and it is the story of a man who rose from one of the worst defeats in american political history, the worst occasions, came back from basically a broken career to lead a shattered and ruined party not only to victory in 1968 but to create a great coalition that succeeded fdr's coalition and dominated the presidency for 20 of the next 24 years. i have often told friends that what richard nixon did in the 20th centuries matched only by one other man, fdr, who created the coalition that dominated the white house if you exclude eisenhower for seven of nine presidency's after 1932.
let me tell you a little bit and go back and try to sell some of this story, as much as i can do in the limited time we have available. the first words i heard from the president of the united states were these. buchanan was throwing the aids. he had just been inaugurated, delivered his inaugural speech, was coming up pennsylvania avenue and his limousine was chart was debris and rocks and eggs and everything and he showed up at the white house and was going into the reviewing stand and we were walking into the reviewing stand and along these boards the secret service had put down because it was somebody and i heard behind me the secret service saying could you step off the board, sir? i stepped off the board and in walks the president of the united states and that is what
he said. was that use throwing the eggs? let me go back, that incident is a metaphor for the city richard nixon came in to, the first president since zachary taylor to take over the white house with both houses of congress in opposition. the media at either loathed or detested richard nixon by and large. the bureaucracy had been built up in the new deal and the great society and was overwhelmingly democratic. it was a hostile city that richard nixon came into that had just broken the presidency of lyndon baines johnson who after winning a magnificent landslide in 64 had stood down in 1968. that was the america of basically of mad men if you
will, the america we saw in that film mad men. look at what happened in those years before richard nixon. 1963 we had john f. kennedy assassinated. 1964 you had the first uprising at the campus disorders. folks out here will remember the worst race riots of its time since the civil war. at the beginning of the revolution i was a young man, an editorial writer in st. louis. i drove back to washington to hear martin luther king delivered his famous speech in the lincoln memorial. i was up in the memorial with him. it was a magnificent moment. one year later, 50 years ago this month, i was in mississippi
before they found the bodies of three civil rights workers and the civil rights revolution of those days which started so well was rapidly disintegrating into disorder and riots and black power and black panthers and all the rest of it. that was the world we came into and let's look at what nixon himself was in that period. people talk about 62-64 and they are correct but if you go back to 1950 it was the last election richard nixon won in his own right. he won the biggest victory california had ever seen but he won with eisenhower but eisenhower could have been elected on any ticket but 1954 when nixon was leading the republican party the republican party lost both houses of congress, they lost 13 senate seats in 1958, 1960, he lost narrowly and it contested the
election, maybe a stolen election, to jack kennedy. we know what happens, we heard what happened in chicago and in texas. 62 he came out and ran for governor and was defeated by governor pat brown. that famous press conference where he said this is it, he'd had it with the press, think of all the fun you're going to be missing, you won't have an richard nixon to kick around anymore because folks, this is my last press conference. he was finished, down and out. in 64, even though he was out of it, he is not only introduced barry goldwater at that convention that richard nixon went in and campaigned all across america for barry goldwater. but look at where he was and where the party was in 1965 when i arrived. the republicans had 140 seats in the house, 32 in the senate,
outnumbered more than 2-1 in both bodies. they had 17 governors of the ships out number 2-1 in governorships. state legislators were outnumbered 2-1. people were talking about the republican party as a party that had lost again, it was finished, split between the goldwater wing and the rockefeller/romney winning. that is what richard nixon inherited, when he began to come back, his great come back. that is the situation when i joined richard nixon. how did i get bored with richard nixon? i was an editorial writer at the conservative st. louis globe democrat and having some difficulty with my publisher at the time and i thought maybe i will get out of this office and get into the real world. nixon was invited by dixon to come fill in for him at a speech
in illinois across the river, 15 miles across the river from st. louis so he was going to speak there and then he was going to go to a cocktail reception given by don hess, the cartoonist at the globe democrat and a good friend of mine so i said what you got to do is be invited to your party and get me to meet richard nixon at your party because i want to meet him. he said i will do it for you saw with silver, waited for nixon's speech to be over and got the medicaid behind his and got him and introduced me to richard nixon and i said mr. vice president, how are you? if you are going to run in 1968 and would like to get aboard early, i figured the direct approach was best. don't beat around the bush, you know. he said what do you do?
i am the assistant editorial editor of the st. louis globe democrat and he said i don't want to know what your title is, i want to know what you do. so i said i write editorials. we get two editorial writers in the st. louis post-dispatch. i write on everything, local politics, statewide, national policy, foreign policy, i right on everything. so he seemed pretty impressed and just to convince him that i was not putting him on i said we met before. he said what? i said we met before. i was at the country club when i was 14 years old. i was on the caddy blog, the masked man on the bench pete cook and i integrated the caddy bench at the country club, there were kids who were unhappy we
were hording and on what they had. we never got bags and the black kids would go out in the morning and the afternoon so we were waiting in late afternoon and out comes this golf bag. i said that is the vice president's bag and sure enough he looks over at the bench and the two of us were the only ones sitting there. pieces come on over so we went around with the vice president of the united states for 18 holes, four hours. to convince nixon i wasn't making this up i gave him the name of the pro and the assistant pro at burning tree so the next morning after this meeting with nixon he has a note to lambert field for an hour and a cartoonist comes in and says nixon talked about you all the way out to lambert air force, that is what good sign. i didn't hear anything from him so two weeks later i got this phone call, it is a familiar
voice. can you come to new york and continue our conversation. i said sure. so i went to new york and for three hours, in richard nixon's office he quizzed me on everything i could think of, foreign policy, domestic policy, tax policy, congress. it was exhausting. for three hours and when we were done he said i would like to hire you for one year. i said one year? he said because if i don't pick up seats in 1966, the nomination won't be work for anything in 1968. then he offered me a salary which was 50% higher than what i was making so i said yes, i am interested in this. so i said i will take it but you better tell my publisher first because he doesn't know i am here. that is how i got a board
richard nixon in 1965. when i got with him, he said you got three assignments, going to write a column for me, and travel with me in 1966 and worked with me in the campaign and i said fine but i had larger dreams of what my functions would be. i said the first thing i got to do is win the nomination. i said you have got the center of the republican party, that my you and respect you and those wonderful folks in california, in the and nebraska are with you. i said i am a member of the goldwater movement. i was a goldwater man. i set if we can put together the goldwater movement with the nixon center of the republican party there is nobody that can stop you from getting that nomination. rockefeller's too far on the left. i began, first thing i did, mr. nixon had something about bill
buckley and they were more dangerous than the berkshires. we have to clear this up. and so i wrote this letter explaining what mr. nixon had meant to the publisher of "national review" and bill buckley and we feel that breach and then with my friend tom charles houston who came aboard, we started holding meetings all during 66 with leaders of various conservative groups, nixon had met and i had met, i was a journalist but houston knew who they all were. so we met with them and started inviting every columnist who was a conservative to come up and meet richard nixon and had an interview with him and give him time and we kept building this alliance with richard nixon and the conservative movement, the center of the republican party and the conservative wing of the republican party. than nixon, his own idea went out on his own in 1966 and
campaigned in 35 states, 8 congressional districts, every single republican who asked for him, all seven states, all over the country working for the republican party and it was a move that i said in my book, in nixon's interest to do this but it was also consistent with what he believed. nixon was a fighter. his party was in trouble and he loved his party, was loyal to it so he went out, we are going to fight in every district we can. i traveled with some that whole time and i have never seen anybody work harder than that. there were occasional incidents, we had some trouble, mr. nixon had some trouble with the rockefellers. let me tell you one story from the campaign of 66, we were in arkansas and nixon got up and
had a press conference and did an event for john paul hammerschmidt, one guys that beat bill clinton for congress. was his first race? he beat bill clinton but anyway in fort smith nixon goes to the hotel and is a rectangular thing and it is on the inside but only one story, nixon has this room here and says i do not want to be disturbed. i have a big speech tonight. i don't want anybody to disturb me and i said you got it and i went down to my own room and i saw this huge fellow marching straight across the quadrangle of this motel straight toward nixon's door and he was yelling hey, dick! hey, dick, to mr. nixon who was sleeping so i started running and i didn't get there in time and this guy is pounding on the door and a door opens and
richard nixon led him and i thought that is the end of pat buchanan and nixon says pat, have you met when rockefeller? quince rockefeller, the brother of nelson and david rockefeller but he was a great war hero. they were involved in some scandal, bobo rockefeller and the 50s but a great fellow and that was my first introduction to the rockefellers in that campaign. the second was you may know the name pat killings, was a congressman out here and he traveled with us. we got to morgan during this campaign and killings comes up to me and i was a gold waterman and my views of nelson rockefeller, hard to describe how harsh say were. killings comes up to me and says the old man is going to endorse rockefeller.
i said what? so i took off down the hall, got to nixon's speed, he is not fair and so i go over and opened the door to the bathroom. he is about to get into the shower and i said you are not going to endorse guy, are you? said don't worry, we will get something for it so sure enough what richard nixon did, again is still see something about the man. he had been treated rudely by the people in new york. they treated him like dirt, invite him to muffin and when the move to new york he is in law practice, any republican events or anything and here he is going to endorse nelson rockefeller which he did why? because he said first party has to win and we are all going to have to diminish our egos of that, we have to come together, we have been deeply divided, goldwater and rockefeller and this is the right thing to do and the right thing to do once again was also right thing to do
for richard nixon so he endorsed rocky and at the end of the campaign richard nixon -- again we were in oregon and we heard word that lyndon johnson was coming back from the manila summit meeting 1966, october and he was going to campaign in all of these states, in a dozen states and i mistakenly went in and told nixon before you went out for a speech that night, the president is coming back, campaigning in a dozen states, nixon said we have to see about that but he was clearly shaken and he went out that night and endorsed tom mccall who was running for governor except calling him bob mccall until the audience finally said it is tom, it is calm. that is a lesson if you are in politics, do not give your
candidate bad news before he is about to go and make a speech but i will say is this. nixon came back and was very down. it johnson comes back we could be cut from 40 seats which he had been predicting, one in 12 seats. he was down, and then he called me in. and he dictated the speech on vietnam. must have taken 12 pages of notes. get out in the morning and fly to boise, idaho, work on us >> prepare it and i will campaign in the state of washington for all day long and the next morning after is that i will come down to boise. we worked on that and worked on it and worked on it as we flew around the country and just before the e election nixon dropped it in new york times in an appraisal of the communique by johnson. johnson -- you can look at the date, november 4th, 1966,
critical moment of come back for richard nixon. was on the front page of the new york times and from lyndon johnson's tapes he called hubert humphrey and said did you see what that s ob said about us in the new york times this morning? johnson went out in a press conference and just lambasted richard nixon as badly as any president has ever attacked a leader of the opposition party. those are not my words. those are the words of jules wouldcover who wrote a book about the watergate event. mike wallace who had been at the airport, i was reporting to nixon on what i heard and i was on the plane listening on radio and nixon came out to the plane, you won't believe what the president is saying about us so we flew up there, mike wallace was at the airport flu after us and caught nixon in maine and nixon came out and handled it beautifully, he was racist
johnson and said the president had not -- is the hardest working president i have seen, a little tired from this trip, got questions on vietnam's the need to be answered and the whole country, the media astoundingly said richard nixon is saying exactly the right thing so all of a sudden end of 1966 richard nixon is faulted into contention by lyndon johnson put republican nomination. however, 66 election, we won big-time, 47 house seats, three senate seats, eight new governors so we get to the weekend after is that, our celebration at the drake hotel, richard nixon took us to the restaurant out of the way with everything, we had a great time. time and newsweek come out after the election. who is on the cover? six republicans, the new republican leaders, governor
reagan, governor rockefeller, governor romney, senator percy, senator brock and senator hatfield and no richard nixon and was a real downer for us that he had been left out after all the work he had done but i tell you they did us a favor. they did us a favor by leading us out of the news and vaulting everybody else up. just before that election day nixon himself told the national press he was on one of those funny programs. after this election is over i am going to take a six month moratorium from politics completely. i saw a nixon day or so later and said is this wise? governor george romney of michigan is ahead of lyndon johnson by eight points in the national polls, he is running for the republican nomination and we are going to drop out for
six months and do nothing to, and nixon said in his own manner, pat, let them shoot on him for a little while. and i gather he meant the press corps and if you read my book, that is exactly what the press did, but in fairness i put a line in my book about mitt romney, how tough it must have been when he was 20 years old in paris seeing what happened to his father's launch for the presidency because i had never seen -- was not an outstanding performance. romney went out and got caught up on the vietnam issue and the press went after him, attacks from the press, it was one of the worst things i had ever seen and i told nixon one time i send out this editorial, i have never
seen anything this vicious. he said you should see what tully writes about me. it was just terrible land a great writer in new york post, i was an admirer of his from journalism school. everyone remembers george romney was an american motorist, he brought out the nash rambler, a tremendous success and that is one of the things that vaulted his career. i slipped into the meeting myself, romney was speaking in new york, i saw mariano rivera and wanted to see what he said the next morning in the paper and he had listened to romney speak and his conclusion was the first line, the nash rambler must have been a hell of a car if george romney was able to
sell it. that was typical of what was being written about mitt romney. you almost feel badly for the guy except we were benefiting from this but then we really got into the later 60s, 1967, people might remember the prices but newark and detroit, you see what happens to detroit as a consequence, horrible race riots, federal troops in both cities, many dead, thousands and thousands arrested, hundreds of millions of dollars worth of damage and this shows, this was part of what was happening in that decade for which we were not responsible but no doubt about it we benefited from this, the revolution was on in america. social, cultural, moral, campuses were ablaze, anti-war
movement was rising, it had been up and rising in 65 but by now it was ablaze, the support rights movement as i mentioned was degenerating in many cases into riots, black power and all the rest of it and all these things cause more and more americans to save the great society, we supported this, we supported civil rights but it is not turning out well. it is not turning out well. something is terribly wrong with our country. this is what middle america was saying and governor romney in his famous statement on lou gordon's tv show in late august, he got on and made a terrible mistake, or maybe was what he believed, he said i was all wrong and vietnam, we should never have gone in there. one of went over to vietnam in 1965 i got the greatest brainwashing you have ever seen and i was brainwashed by the
american military and american diplomats and after four decades the new york times picked up on it, romney says he has been brainwashed. it was not a good thing for his candidacy and gene mccarthy who became a friend of mine was brutal on governor romney, he said in romney's case a full brainwashing was not needed. a light rinse would have sufficed. this is a rule but you have to remember in those days that is how tough governor george romney had it in those days to the point we were running against him and i am feeling sorry for the guy. then we come up to 1968 which was a real year of tragedy. it was a real year of tragedy.
my friend tom brokaw wrote a book called bloom about it. 64, 65, 66, you almost had to go through that era to experience that. we began a campaign, dwight shaven and i and a great price, it was the three of us, flew in a small plane out of la guardia, february 1st, 1968, into logan and then we took a car, that took nixon to new hampshire where we got into a room under a phony name. benjamin chapman. he was going to go into manchester the next day and sign up for the primary. when we were going down the hall
in this motel, benjamin chapin, richard nixon's hat was going down the hall and this inebriated fellow was walking toward him and he kept looking at him and looking at him and passed by and you can see there was some recognition on his face but not a great deal. that is how we got nixon into new hampshire, but that very day was the first day of the tet offensive in vietnam and i was concerned because my little brother was with the 100 1st airborne, had just gone over. in that month the tet offensive dominated the news, take a look at the new york times, there's a picture of richard nixon. he announced -- she got one column in the new york times. a four column photograph was of the saigon police chief shooting a fellow in the head, the terrorist who was coming in and murdering people, decide on
police chief who won the pulitzer prize but that is the beginning of that year. was in february also you had the massacre at way, 3,000 were killed, the vietnam -- murdering everyone will to the saigon government while working with the americans. before february was out governor romney quit the race, dropped out. i got a call from a friend of mine who had gone to journalism school that he was covering romney and said he is dropping out this afternoon so nixon was speaking in what we call the little town to or and he came down from the podium so i grabbed him and we took him into the men's room, dwight and i and said romney is going to drop out this afternoon. i have done good authority from my buggy from journalism school who is covering him so nixon walks out and mike wallace said what do you have to say about
governor romney dropping out of the race? and i said mr. nixon carried it pretty well. he said that is the first i have heard about that. sometimes you are just stopped cold. romney was done from the race but what happened? two weeks later they had the new hampshire primary and richard nixon, while he won, got 70% of the vote, we didn't have an opponent then, but people if you looked at the total votes, you had nixon, rockefeller, romney, people voting for him, bobby kennedy on the democratic side, eugene mccarthy, lyndon johnson was a right in, nixon got more votes. people weren't looking at it, then all the others put together. because of the little project he had begun four times as many right in votes on the democratic ballot as bobby kennedy. people didn't notice, they should have looked closely at
that because what that said it is the country is turning towards this party and somewhat towards this man who is supposed to be the greatest loser of all time. the big news, eugene mccarthy, who got 42% of the vote against lyndon johnson, president of the united states and johnson, his people, i don't know what they're thinking of, and johnson's name wasn't even on the ballot. the president of the united states was running as a right in candidate in new hampshire and so i was astonished he did this and have of mccarthy's those were from people who wanted johnson to be tougher on vietnam so johnson's people handle the horribly. three or four days later robert kennedy jumped into the race against johnson and began to savage him, johnson is appealing to the darker impulses of the american spirit, it was just brutal stuff and he jumped in
and someone who loved bobby kennedy called him an opportunist who comes down from the hills, shoot the wounded and it was just a brutal attack and so then, rockefeller, rockefeller, we expected rockefeller to go after arrest because romney was gone so rockefeller did not get -- he holds a press conference and again dwight and i, nixon is in -- mr. nixon didn't watch television. he would ask me to watch and dwight and by to watch it and then tell him what our impressions were. a very smart thing to do, i think because you wants to know what other folks with different viewpoints are thinking about what they see. he knows what he thinks. so rockefeller did not announce or announced he isn't going to run. no desire to be present, hope you take this seriously so we went in and told richard nixon and for years, asked me what nixon said and i didn't tell
him. what nixon said was it is the girl. at that time drew pearson had put out these reports through his newsletter that nelson rockefeller had a girlfriend and after easy marriage broke up this would have just killed him and says that rumor was floating all over the place so we thought that was the reason he was not going to run. that didn't turn out to be true. so then that is march, we're still in march, that is around 20 first, last day of march, we were going to the speech and vietnam with them is very opposed to as we had to cancel it because johnson announced he is going to speak on march 31st, we are going to speak on the 30th 7 nixon told me go out to the airport, get in a limousine and stay at the airport, i am going to go to wisconsin. the primary was on the second of april, get on the runway and when my plane comes in, get on
the plane, run down, get on the plane ahead of the press, tell me what johnson says sell i will be able to respond so i said sure. i was in the limousine and this black driver who was nixon's driver, we're sitting in that limousine and here comes johnson is talking away about vietnam, we thought we were going to come and then he says i will not accept ac, nor will i accept nomination of my party for another term, lyndon johnson was basically saying he wasn't going to run again. was a whole new ball game so i told the driver move this car down the tarmac and get me next to that plane before the press gets on there because the vice president doesn't know what is happening. i got on and ran into the plane and told him was happening and nixon walks out and says i did -- the drop out.
and he admitted in his memoirs that he should not have said that. what could you think? ronny drops out, roca, drops out, all in one month. they are gone. it is of brand new picture but the new picture meant i thought we were in trouble because i thought we could be johnson. the country desperately wanted change. i thought we could be johnson, i thought we could be bobby kennedy because he was on the left wing of the democratic party tell was savaging the president constantly and if we got the nomination lyndon johnson would have been working for richard nixon rather than bobby kennedy but hubert humphrey was a different story, humphrey was a committed liberal, democratic liberal who was in tight with the democratic establishment as vice president. we could have a real problem beating hubert humphrey to i think is their strongest candidate. that is march 31st. four days later dr. king was assassinated in memphis, 100 american cities went up in flames and smoke and fire and
violence and looting and burning and there were federal troops in my home town of washington d.c. places i had grown up and was very familiar with as a kid were being burned down. it was the worst series of racial violence in american history, 100 cities burned and it was horrendous and that tremendously influenced the politics of that year, the american people were beginning to say this country is coming up hard and over in baltimore which burned badly, stoically carmichael, racial incendiary who eventually became a communist and went to connaught or guinea was down there encouraging all of this burning and looting and the governor named spiro agnew, called in civil rights letters and read them the riot act for not condemning the racial incendiaries, he said i condemn all these white racists, now you got to condemn these guys that burning down our city and it was
a very tough thing, he was known as a liberal governor. he had and rockefeller man but he did it tremendous job and i have notes of all this and clippings, i was very impressed with what agnew was doing and nixon was equally impressed as we would find out later and my alma mater, columbia university before april was out exploded in the worst violence of any campus in the 1960s, they took over the campus, took over the dean's office, trashed the teen's office and it took a week, they finally called the new york nypd in to clear the campus, black radicals and white radicals both and nixon, i will say, there was a division inside the nixon camp. i was in the gold water conservative, research writing group was very conservative, the most conservative element in the hole mixing campaign but we have
liberals and their too and we were deeply divided over how to deal with fat and nixon was going along with my proposal which is the american people want to crack down on the nonsense. they supported civil rights and all these initiatives of the great society and they see this happening and the law has to be enforced. there was a poll taken that found only 2% of the people in oregon agree with the students on the campus to are demonstrating, agreed they are the just cause and what they're doing is the right thing so we had the country, the future silent majority was being formed right there in 1968, in april, so then we moved to made a. in may richard nixon was in the oregon primary, the last contested primary, he had no opposition so he wiped the floor with everybody.
70% reagan, a film running up there, 22%, rockefeller 4%, nelson, rockefeller and shirley and i were at the oregon primary is the night nixon won, he went to dinner at the bentsen with pat nixon, so i went off, first time in history at kennedy had lost an election. bobby kennedy was beaten by eugene mccarthy in the oregon primary. so i said i got to see this because bobby kennedy was coming up from california where he was campaigning to the benson hotel to concede defeat. so we went down and just as he got out of the car could see teddy white with him, freckles, he had his dog with him and i went to the room like this where he was standing up like here conceding defeat and i will say i was not a fan of bobby kennedy, it was the most gracious concession speech i had
ever heard. i said this is really a class act they had handled extremely well, bobby kennedy did, he said mccarthy ran a fine race, we were defeated here, if there will be another race in california in a week, the california primary, we will meet senator mccarthy down there and congratulate him. was a lovely speech. that was over and we went back to new york and one week after that night i got a call from jeff bell from our campaign headquarters at 3 in the morning, woke me up at my apartment and said simply bobby kennedy has been shot. i called mr. nixon and he was already awake, they were watching returns over there at the time and they had apparently seen the stories. it was that kind of year. nixon went to the funeral but
then we had a battle inside the nixon campaign over a real issue which was which way do we go? how do we defend against governor george wallace? let me go back a bit. a benefit nixon got was the republican party which i described u.s. twice the size of the republican party, the democratic party, was splintered now three ways. george correll wallace, governor of alabama, was leading in seven or eight states and at one point he was holding 21% of the vote. you had the body kennedy, george mcgovern, eugene mccarthy wing of the party, anti-war, have all the young people and johnson, humphrey center of the party and in this battle inside the nixon camp we had to find out a way, who is going to defend against wallace to take away votes from him while nixon held the center and fought against hubert
humphrey? says that went on for a while in july wrote mix in a memo which is in my book, i said for two months we have been five points behind humphrey. in those days you don't gain five points overnight. almost told you how it was going to come out and i said we have to be bold if we are going to win this thing so there is nothing i can think that is boulder is and if you -- put him on the ticket, the governor of california, ronald reagan. the nixon campaign in '68, it was a tremendous drive and move to construct the governor of california, ronald reagan who is immensely popular and could really contest for the social conservatives and northern catholics and half of us wanted to put ronald reagan on the ticket and got to miami and we didn't get reagan, we did get reagan because the polls as we arrived in miami showed nixon
ahead so we said you don't want to take a risk now because we are ahead. so you take someone who is not the big risk and nixon can win it himself said that is how spiro agnew was chosen by mr. nixon and i tell you the fresh quote because of that incident in baltimore where he read the riot act to the civil rights leaders, the press was outraged. mike wallace came up to me cursing. what do you think you are doing? you just lost the election and wallace was a friend of ours which traveled with us. wasn't hostile. he just was outraged and so i went upstairs and there is nobody on the seventeenth floor but richard nixon himself and he says pat, come on in, let's watch and new's press conference so i said right, right you are. i went in and he and i are sitting there watching tv and agnew is being as tough as he can be for and the press was
going after him and agnew is holding his own. i will never forget what nixon said to me. he said buchanan, i think we have ourselves a hanging judge here. i had one more experience i want to tell you about, that is when we got this mission after our own convention where nixon was nominated by told nixon it is important we have eyes and ears at the democratic convention. can you send me to chicago? want to observe it and your eyes and the ears. you are going down to key biscayne because in those days a candidate whose convention was over would get out of the way while the other candidate has his convention. the courtesy is not done any more. nixon went to keep his game and i went to chicago and i stayed at the main center hotel which
we called the conrad hilton. on michigan avenue. truth be told, i was aghast there. i went across the street in grant park and was accused of being an fbi agent by all the radicals. then when the big night came, i was alone on the nineteenth floor in the combat hilton and i heard a commotion on the street at the same time somebody walks and it is the novelist norman mailer. what you doing here? the heavyweight champion of the world's. he was telling me what a conservative is, and hear this noise going in front of us, we sat and witnessed those going into grand part using clubs sharpening people down left and right, norman mailer has the
ball in his book in miami in chicago. he was on the nineteenth floor, he was not looking out the window. it was an incredible event and hundred times and who became a friend of mine, he wrote that richard nixon, president of the united states, michigan and balboa that evening. no doubt it was a contributing factor, he was unbelievable. nixon called me, he kept calling me, what is going on now? he was watching this on miami beach and at 2:00 in the morning, opened the window, and you could hear these obscenities, richard daley which i cannot repeat here. for 30 seconds, that is going on here.
that was almost fatal. let me talk about the fall campaign which is a testament to hubert humphrey, he had a hellish time in september. demonstrators were constantly on his case and all these things, he wasn't allowed to talk, he was broken hearted until finally he gave a speech, i will move that the left and get our troops out of vietnam and said goodbye to the war and the left came home and george wallace voters, let me tell you what the polls where for one month before the election, george wallace was at 21%, ebert humphrey at 28% and we were at 38%. 15 points at of humphrey. four five weeks later, a hubert
humphrey almost put the old man as we called him in the history books alongside tom dewey. the democratic party, all those democrats from wallace to humphrey but the undecideds to humphrey. it wasn't until four years later after the white house that we put together that 49 state new majority. nixon wrote the final telethon that we had, before the election, to the nixon girls and volunteers, wrote the questions down into the back room where i was, and the questions would come in and they give them to me, and we could frame this question a little better.
and patched the fat passed balls in the center. it was produced by someone, 28 years old who had broken his foot in a jump. his name was roger ailes who has become fairly well known today but he was 28 years old. this is what the whole story and the book are about. it was an incredible history with an incredible man. his perseverance, his courage, his ability to get up from 2 feet again and again is just unbelievable. is a testament, i don't care which side of politics you are on, the fact that he came back the way he did. we all know we were talking at dinner tonight that people say what the unknown nixon for? china or watergate? those two things.
let me list some of the things he did very quickly. in his first term before watergate. the end of the vietnam war brought our troops home and our pows home. negotiated the greatest strategic arms agreement since the washington naval treaty of 1921-22. he rescued israel in the yom kippur war. tea party jumped out of the soviet bloc into the west. ended the draft, he gave 18-year-olds the right to vote, he desegregated the south. only 10% desegregated when johnson left office, 70% when nixon left office. recreated the epa, osha, and the cancer institute, named four justices to the supreme court including two chief justices. william rehnquist, one of the great justices of the 20th
century. he won a 28 state landslide. unbelievable, the biggest loser of all time, 49 state landslide, put together a political coalition that dominated presidential elections for 20 of the next 24 years. had it not been for watergate i think people would think she was the heart rate president. that is the man i knew as the boss and the old man. [applause] >> thank you. thank you. thank you, pat. patch has agreed to answer a few questions before the book
signing. if you have a question please raise your hand and i will come to you so we will get it on television. i am going to start with this young lady from ucla, come over here, you are from anaheim. >> you said president nixon created the new majority. would you think the current republican party can do to shift the majority back to their aid? >> whether the republicans can replicate what richard nixon did in creating the new majority in 49 state coalition, in 1984 he won 49 states, he won 44 against jimmy carter. i don't know that you can because the truth is we are another country right now. we changed dramatically, demographically, we are different countries and we were.
we look 18 states including four mega states, california, new york, illinois, pennsylvania have gone demographic, six straight times. can we get those states back? we also have a situation where the great society and the social welfare state, you must have 100 million or more americans depend on government benefits of one kind or another, half of the country is exempt from the federal income-tax. how do you get back folks when you say you are going to cut government which means you imperiled their benefits are also going to cut taxes but don't pay those taxes? it is a much tougher, a much tougher -- republicans can win in 1914, or 2014. right back where i was. in 2014. i think they will win the
senate. 2016 is an uphill run. >> carter, an attorney who produced that great mack, shows richard nixon's history in orange county and he is writing the book about richard nixon's son which will come out next year. >> i was wondering if you could give us your thoughts regarding whether president nixon had a so-called southern strategy? >> clearly nixon went into all 11 southern states in 1966, campaigned against george wallace, i describe that in my book, if you read the book, the libel against richard nixon is he used racist tactics to win the south. that is false.
the people that did that were the democrats. woodrow wilson segregated the federal government, carried 11 southern states. fdr put cactus jack garner of texas on his ticket who had imposed a poll tax. fdr put a klansman on the supreme court. fdr put jimmy byrnes of south carolina on the supreme court who blocked the anti lynching law. for decades the democratic party used the issue of race to maintain the solidity of the northern liberal southern coalition. adlai stevenson, carried the same states advice stevenson carried, was that because stevenson was a tougher guy on foreign policy than dwight eisenhower? no. stevenson put on his ticket john starkman of alabama who was a signer of the dixie manifesto
which called for massive resistance to integration and passive resistance to the supreme court decision when he was a senior in high school so the democrats were as we read in that piece, but that the column are robe with nixon and for nixon where i said nixon went south and he said let's leave it to be dixiecrats' to squeeze the last ounces of political juice out of the rotting fruit of racial injustice and nixon voted for the civil rights act of 1957-1960, 1964, 65, 68, he desegregated the south. once the south was desegregated, once that was off the table, naturally the south moved from its conservative convictions straight into the republican party but only after it was desegregated. lots of libel and i am happy to take that one on and i have
taken it on in the book. liberals wining and complaining, whining and complaining when fdr was winning all confederate states every single time he ran, all four times. >> we are live streaming this program and we asked our viewers to submit their questions on the mainland i am going to ask one of them from gary of denver, colorado. what are your memories of the election night, 1968? >> fairly terrifying. teddy white in his book, some of you will know the fellow's name, coming across the country, what we did after we had our tell us on that monday night, we got on the plane and nixon flew across the country as the country was
voting and my hands broke out in hives. i have never been able to explain it. it was some kind of nervous but teddy white writes in his book, on the night of the election buchanan and finch were the most nervous and bob haldeman, the most confident and i think that is right. let me tell you a story. on saturday before the election i got a call from john sears, one of our political guys, he said pat, tells the old man michigan is gone and we are three down in paris. the harris poll had humphrey at 43 and us at 40. if that were true the election was over. i went in on saturday, went into nixon's sweet and he and d d were in front of the television watching the oregon ducks play usc, i think. i explained this to him and he
says thanks. i was really honestly thought we were going to lose the election until the return started coming in and use of more and more that humphrey couldn't win because wallace was taking all these votes out of the democratic base, all these states. across the mississippi the question was whether we would lose california and have the election thrown into the house of representatives where the democrats were still dominant so that night i was at the waldorf-astoria and i stayed up all night long until 6:00 or 7:00 in the morning and i went down and got in the room and fell asleep and i woke up and said nixon has gone to keep his game. i waited until 8:00 in the morning until they finally decided we didn't need illinois.
answer them. nixon wanted the answers reduced to 120 words and everything. and at the end of that, ziegler and i would get together, ron, and we'd get together and send a memo called the bz predicting what were the most likely. i'd have 25 answers in the book or 30, the most likely 15 questions we thought he would get. and so nixon went out, and we did very well. it had a good record. so one time i got, i sent him the bz memo, and i predicted the questions, and i had all the questions in the book, and every single question the press asked on every issue i had predicted and had an answer in the book. just 100 on your test. [laughter] okay? i get a call after the press conference was over, and nixon said, the president says, buchanan, i see you predicted every single question they would
ask. and i said, yes, sir, i believe we did. and he said, that's good, but there were some questions in the book they didn't ask. next time leave those out. [laughter] [applause] you know? click. [laughter] >> a question from former state senator dick mountjoy of monrovia. >> is that dick over there? >> well, i used to be. [laughter] until i got older. >> how you doing, fella? >> pretty good. pat, i'm really concerned about the country, and i'm concerned, basically, about the invasion we have coming from the the south. and my question is this, kind of off subject, but do you know of any other leader of any country that ever plotted, planned and
encouraged the invasion of their open country? of their own country? [applause] >> well, i do believe that one of the first responsibilities of any president of the united states is to secure the borders of the individual states of the union. and i regret to say that congress and presidents of both parties for the last 25 years have failed to do that on our southern border, and we have a hellish problem and a long-term peril, i think, to the groupty, cohesion of our nation from, you know, an invasion which is now running up to 12 million or more people in the united states. and i think unless we get control of it, we're in peril of losing the country we all grew up in. and this has been an issue, as you know, since i first launched
my own political career which wasn't all that successful. but i'm very apprehensive about that, and i do not understand why that the incumbent president of the united states cannot even go down and take a look at the crisis on the border and is shooting pool when he should be down there. so that's my view -- [applause] >> hi, mr. buchanan. my question is a counterfactual history question. if nixon would have won the election in 1960 rather than jfk, would we have had a cuban missile crisis? would we have had a bay of pigs? and how would he have handled vietnam? now, we know from choose chef's -- khrushchevs diaries and what have you that he thought john f. kennedy was a lightweight.
i don't think he would have thought that way about nixon. how do you see it? >> i do believe that khrushchev saw kennedy being hesitant in launching the bay of pigses, which was a complete debacle. then he ran into kennedy at vienna, and even kennedy himself said cruise che had brutalized him. he didn't put up the -- he then put up the berlin wall and got no response except kennedy called up a lot of my friends for one more year in the service, and i think that persuaded khrushchev that he could get away with putting missiles in cuba. he would never have done that under eisenhower because of world war ii and everything. and i don't think he would have done that while richard nix sob, if richard nixon had won that election at all. and i don't think richard nixon would have sent those fellas into cuba unless he was determined that invasion would work. so i think it would have been a different situation,
undoubtedly. but we can't, i can't know. with regard to vietnam, i'll be honest, as i point out in my book, you know, i supported the vietnam war as an editorial writer from 1962, supported kennedy in the missile crisis, and i think that the whole country -- at one point when johnson, maybe it was '65, but lyndon johnson had the support of 70% of the country, and the vietnam war was supported by 80% of the country. so i don't know with regard to vietnam, but i don't think khrushchev would have trifled with richard nixon the way he did with john f. kennedy. if you'll recall also brezhnev who we all met, brezhnev threatened in the yom kippur war, there were soviet airborne divisions moving toward their bases, their jumpoff bases, and there were soviet -- we were hearing, i don't know if it's true -- that soviet ships were coming through the dardanelles
and some of them armed with nuclear weapons. and you saw nixon, nixon had an all-out airlift to save israel in that war. and it was a very tough time because that was, i was in the president's oval office just before the so-called saturday night massacre, and it was talking about richardson was coming in, he was right outside. and nixon said there's no way i can be defied by a member of my own cabinet when you've got the russians looking at me and wondering whether i'm going to stand tough in the middle east. so he had to get rid of richardson at that time. the ball had started rolling. but i was right there with him, spent 45 minutes that day. and i went out and saw my old friend elliott walking in to get his head chopped off. >> pat, over here to your right. a professor from beijing, and he wants to ask a question about the future of u.s./china
relations. >> thank you, mr. buchanan. i'm a professor at a university in china, and i know that you were there from the very beginning of the relationships with china. if nixon were alive today, what do you think he would say about where the future relationship of both china and the u.s. are going? >> nixon, president nixon, again, in my book -- and, again, some of these things i got by going back into my files. i hadn't realized what was in there, hints and suggestions, from things i'd wrote to nixon. like one of them i got out, and it said nixon wanted -- he said run down what rockefeller has said on china. this is '67, i believe, has said on china. so what, you know? when we ran it down, he wanted to know if rockefeller was in favor of recognizing china or moving to engage it. richard nixon believed very much
in the united states and the soviet union and the united states china had to manage this relationship which was going to be troublesome and going to have a lot of rough spots in such a way that we never went to major war against each other. i mean, he really believed that, you know, that -- and he believed in his own capacity to achieve this. now, i'm much more of a skeptic than richard nixon was. he did believe he could create a generation of peace, and i think china was a very large part of it. how would he manage the relationship now with china and japan, i think he would be, he would be talking seriously and strongly and directly to the chinese not to ruin all the benefits that have come out of the relationship as it has grown in the 40-plus years since he went there.
and that's all i have -- all i can say. but he was very proud of the fact that he had opened china up and that he had gone there to the people's republic. >> pat, in the middle of the room, our final question from a young man from laguna nagal. >> thank you. once again the united states and russia seem to be playing this game of tactics or whatever you want to call it. you had mentioned before that egypt was removed from the eastern bloc and into the west -- >> right. >> now it seems that that's either going to be slowly going back and the other middle eastern states are going back to russia. how do you see all that playing out now that, i mean, when you watch these things, what's going through your mind? because you watched it go the other way. >> right. well, my view is i don't -- my view of the russians is different than a number of
folks. see, i think putin, there's no question he wants crimea back. putin, to me, is responding to what happened when his guy basically in kiev whom he had cut a deal with to have them, ukraine, come into his economic union was dumped over by the crowds in the streets in kiev that were encouraged by the united states, mccain and all the others. i think he saw that as sort of like a coup d'etat managed by the americans which toured away from -- and he said, well, they're not going to get my naval -- i'm not going to a russian naval base we've had for 200 years and salute nato soldiers. so he went and got that back. i don't see him as the, as the big player in the middle east. i don't see russia as the big player in the middle east at all. i think the middle east, in a way, is going its own way. it is in the, it looks to me more, and you can find out
what's going on in the middle east by studying the thirty years' war. the catholics, protestants and the turmoil of religion and states involved which carried off a third of the population of germany. and i think that that sort of started off on its own track, the middle east. but ukraine, i'm apprehensive or the terrible horror that took place with the downing of that aircraft. but that downing of that aircraft, i mean, it was not clint mass murder dub deliberate mass murder, but no doubt those folks are debt. somebody made a horrendous military bluppedder and brought that down, and now putin is on the spot, and many republicans are calling for weapons to ukraine. but if you encourage the ukrainians to go grab back their two provinces militarily and humiliate the russians, you're probably putting putin in a point where he's going to have to respond. and if the ukrainians try to
take back crimea, there's going to be a war. and ukrainians are going to lose it. and if we put a lot of weaponry and everything else in there with the ukrainians, you're going to find the united states and russia face to face there. so i'm very apprehensive over what's going on in ukraine. with regard to the middle east, you know, i just don't think the united states should go back in there with more and more troops. why if the iraqi army will not even fight and defend mosul should american troops have to fight and die to retrieve it for 'em? [applause] so it's, anyhow, that's my view. [applause] i see, who's the ron ziegler who stops the press conference? [laughter] thank you. >> thank you. thank you, pat buchanan. let's show our appreciation for a great presentation. [applause]
pat, don't leave before i present you with our great gift, what would nixon do mug. [laughter] we expect to see you using that on the mclaughlin group and fox and other places. thank you for coming. you and shelley know this is your home away from home, so please come back. ladies and gentlemen, pat will be in the front lobby signing your books which, coincidentally, are now on sale in our museum store. [laughter] for those of you on television, if you would like an autographed book, you can order it via www.nixonfoundation.org. thank you all for coming, god bless you, and god bless america. [applause] >> you're watching booktv on c-span2 with top nonfiction books and authors every weekend. booktv, television for serious readers. >> here are some programs to watch on booktv this weekend.
today we bring you the 2014 brooklyn book festival from new york. coverage includes panels on city planning, politics, nelson mandela, voting rights and public education. on "after words," the story of a tragic car accident due to texting and the effect technological distractions have on society. steve almond takes a critical look at football from the brutality of the sport to the financial privileges it provides. calls books about the -- also books about women in the civil war, the drafting of the emancipation problem proclamatid intelligent machines. for more information, visit us online at booktv.org. >> i'm the executive art director for the simon & schuster or imprint. >> host: and what does that mean? >> guest: well, i oversee and design the simon & schuster imprint, and there are many